Category Archives: Right Action

Gloria

We are fortunate to be loved by Gloria.

Gloria Kliewer Roe is the most loving, caring and talented individual I’ve ever had the privilege to know. Throughout the challenges known as Life, we shared the most precious elements, love and respect. My sister Gloria dedicated her life of discipline and sacrifice to providing hope, guidance and assistance to others through her amazing artistry.

Continue reading Gloria

Chinese Billionaire Moving Manufacturing to the U.S. to Cut Costs

While it has been said for a long time that the U.S. is bleeding manufacturing jobs overseas, particularly to China, some businesses have been moving operations the other way round.

And now, the head of a leading Chinese glass maker making the same move has openly questioned if his country really is such a lucrative destination for offshore factories, reports Hong Kong newspaper the South China Morning Post.

Overall speaking, the tax burden for manufacturers in China is 35% higher than in the U.S., Cao Dewang told China Business Network. He added that a combination of cheap land, reasonable energy prices and other incentives means that, despite higher manufacturing costs, he can still make more money by making glass in the U.S. than by exporting Chinese-made panes to the U.S. market.

© Wang Zhou-Imaginechina
Cao Dewang, center, Chairman of Fuyao Group and Chairman of Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co., is interviewed as he arrives at the Great Hall of the People to attend the opening session for the Fourth Session of the 12th National Committee of the CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) in Beijing, China, 3 March 2016.

His company, Fuyao Glass, has invested over $1 billion stateside, according to the Post, the most significant move of which is opening its U.S. factory in the Ohio town of Moraine, a suburb of Dayton, back in October. The glass maker is re-purposing the town’s former General Motors assembly that had been standing empty since late 2008, as the Dayton Daily News reports.

According to Ohio TV station WDTN, the plant now employs a workforce of almost 2,000, and Cao expects that the fully operational facility will employ up to 3,000 workers.

Wage and transportation costs are getting higher in China, Cao says. Compared with four years ago, labor wages [in China] today have tripled, he told China Business Network. Meanwhile, transportation in the U.S. costs the equivalent of less than one yuan ($) per kilometer, while road tolls [in China] are higher, he added, pointing out that some mid- and small-sized Chinese enterprises have already started moving to Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Cambodia for cheaper wages and materials.

Fuyao is not the first Chinese business making the move across the Pacific in recent years. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chinese companies invested over $20 billion in the U.S. last year -from a practically nonexistent total investment back in 2006.

And yet, it would probably be mistaken to write off the world’s second largest economy as a manufacturing powerhouse once and for all. As Fortune reported in early December, the latest data indicates that China’s manufacturing sector is in its strongest position in some years, buttressing the country’s economic growth along the way.

Written by Kevin Lui –  Fortune.com – December 22, 2016

Original Source: http://fortune.com/2016/12/22/us-china-manufacturing-costs-investment/

Chinese Real Estate Focus is Here

World’s Biggest Real Estate Binge is Coming to a City Near You (Including the Seattle Area…keep reading)

November 14, 2016 — 8:00 AM PST – Bloomberg News: 

If they were anywhere else in Beijing, the five young women in cowboy hats and matching red, white, and blue costumes would look wildly out of place.

But here at the city’s biggest international property fair — a frenetic gathering of brokers, developers and other real estate professionals all jockeying for the attention of Chinese buyers — the quintet of wannabe Texans fits right in. As they promote Houston townhouses (“Yours for as little as $350,000!”), a Portugal contingent touts its Golden Visa program and the Australian delegation lures passersby with stuffed kangaroos.

Welcome to ground zero for the world’s largest cross-border residential property boom. Motivated by a weakening yuan, surging domestic housing costs and the desire to secure offshore footholds, Chinese citizens are snapping up overseas homes at an accelerating pace. They’re also venturing further afield than ever before, spreading beyond the likes of Sydney and Vancouver to lower-priced markets including Houston, Thailand’s Pattaya Beach and Malaysia’s Johor Bahru.

The buying spree has defied Chinese government efforts to restrict capital outflows and shows little sign of slowing after an estimated $15 billion of overseas real estate purchases in the first half. For cities in the cross-hairs, the challenge is to balance the economic benefits of Chinese demand against the risk that rising home prices spur a public backlash.

“The Chinese have managed to accumulate very large amounts of wealth, and the opportunities to deploy that capital in their own market are somewhat restricted,” said Richard Barkham, the London-based chief global economist at CBRE Group Inc., the world’s largest commercial property brokerage. “China has more than a billion people. Personally, I think we have just seen a trickle.”

While a dearth of government statistics makes it difficult to gain a comprehensive view of cross-border real estate investments, most industry projections point to a surge in Chinese purchases. Ping An Haofang, an online real estate platform owned by China’s second-largest insurer, says its $15 billion first-half estimate, derived from market data, nearly matches the figure for all of 2015.

Fang Holdings Ltd., the country’s most popular property website, predicts overseas buying on its system will increase 130 percent this year, while transactions through September at Shenzhen World Union Properties Consultancy Inc., China’s largest broker for new-home sales, were already 50 percent above last year’s level. The country overtook Canada as the largest source of residential purchases in America last year after an estimated $93 billion of buying from 2010 to 2015, according to a May report by the Asia Society and Rosen Consulting Group.

It adds up to the world’s biggest-ever wave of overseas residential property investment, according to Susan Wachter, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who specializes in real estate markets. While Japan had a similar boom in the 1980s, it was mainly focused on commercial buildings, Wachter said.

Today’s Chinese buyers have a long list of reasons to flock overseas. The yuan’s slump is eroding their purchasing power, while returns on local financial assets — including stocks, bonds and wealth-management products — are shrinking as the $11 trillion economy slows.

Chinese real estate, meanwhile, has grown increasingly out of reach after a speculative boom sent domestic home prices to all-time highs. Residential property values in Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai all jumped more than 30 percent in the year through September, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

“Properties in Shanghai are ridiculously expensive,” Chen Feng, 38, said as he evaluated prospects at a property fair in Shanghai in September, lured by television commercials for the event the night before. “With the amount of money it takes to buy a small apartment here, I can buy a building of apartments in many places in the world.”

That line of reasoning is nothing new, of course. Sydney, Vancouver, Hong Kong, London and a handful of other cities have long been popular destinations for Chinese buyers.

The difference now is that those traditional hotspots are starting to lose their appeal, due to soaring prices and new measures to deter an influx of overseas money. In Hong Kong, the government enacted a 30 percent tax on foreign property owners this month after Chinese demand pushed home values toward record highs.

The risk of similar measures in other cities can’t be ruled out as politicians including Donald Trump, the U.S. president-elect, tap into local discontent over rising living costs, according to CBRE Group’s Barkham.

Ocean Views

Chinese buyers have responded by branching out to cheaper cities. In the U.S., they’re increasingly searching for properties in Houston, Orlando and Seattle, which displaced San Francisco in the first quarter as the third-most viewed U.S. market on Juwai.com, a Chinese search engine for offshore real estate.

At the national level, countries in Southeast Asia have grown more popular. Juwai.com’s queries on Thailand are surging at a 72 percent annual rate, helping it surpass Britain as one of the top five most-targeted destinations worldwide earlier this year.

In Pattaya Beach, Chinese investors have snapped up 20 percent of the luxury condos on offer from Kingdom Property Co. over the past year. The properties offer Gulf of Thailand views for as little as $120,000, or less than a quarter of what buyers would pay for a typical apartment in central Shanghai, according to Han Bing, a 30-year-old anchor in Chinese television shows who doubles as a sales agent for the Bangkok-based developer.

“It’s a cool bargain for a retirement plan,” Han said.

Capital Controls

In the Malaysian state of Johor, across the Northern border of Singapore, major Chinese builders including Country Garden Holdings Co., Greenland Holdings Corp. and Guangzhou R&F Properties Co. are all developing new projects. Country Garden agents handed out fliers for the firm’s $37 billion Forest City development at the Beijing property fair in September, advertising permanent property rights, zero inheritance taxes, long-term residence visas and high-quality hospitals.

One challenge for Chinese investors is getting money out of a country that caps individuals’ foreign-currency purchases at $50,000 a year. While that limit hasn’t always been strictly enforced, the yuan’s slump is prompting policy makers to clamp down. This year, they’ve banned the use of friends’ currency quotas, curbed on the cross-border activities of underground banks and asked lenders to reduce foreign-exchange sales.

Still, alternative routes abound. Many business owners finance their homes through offshore trading companies, while some Chinese developers allow clients to pay for overseas units in yuan. Foreign-currency mortgages also play a role, helping to fund more than 80 percent of China’s international property purchases, according to an estimate by Fang Holdings based on user searches and surveys.

Planning Ahead

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” said David Ley, a professor at the University of British Columbia who wrote a book on the flood of wealthy migrants from east Asia in the 1980s and 1990s.

This year’s purchases could be just be the tip of the iceberg. Chinese holdings of global real estate, including commercial properties, will probably swell to $220 billion by 2020 from $80 billion in 2015, according to Juwai.com.

As the first generation born after China’s opening in the late 1970s approaches middle age, many of them want an overseas base for family members to travel, study and work. Chinese parents with children at foreign schools have been a major source of demand, accounting for an estimated 45 percent of cross-border buying, according to Fang Holdings.

Zha Liangliang, a 31-year-old owner of commercial wheat farms in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, said he purchased a $587,000 apartment in Sydney in August and plans to add five more before sending his children to high school in Australia. He’s flying to the country this month to view homes and farmland, hoping to buy before the yuan weakens any further.

For some investors, it’s never too early to pull the trigger. Richard Baumert, a partner at Millennium Partners Boston, tells the story of a 33-year-old Chinese man who purchased a luxury home for his future children in August, convinced they’re destined to attend one of the city’s prestigious universities.

The buyer shelled out $2.4 million for the property, Baumert said, unfazed by the fact that he’s single and it could be two decades before he has kids old enough for college.

Original Source:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-14/world-s-biggest-real-estate-binge-is-coming-to-a-city-near-you

Note: There is no need to be overly concerned about the new Trump Administration, as mentioned in the article. New opportunities for good deals will be possible. Correct understanding and guidance is important. We are here to assist, just send us a message:  Frank@FrankKliewer.com 

 

Chinese Investors Looking for Development Opportunities

As subscribers and daily readers of the Wall Street Journal (print and online) we found the following article extremely telling in light of our past success and current work focus:

Chinese Cash Pours into U.S. Real Estate

SF Dev

Site on San Francisco Bay reflects a move into new development, beyond buying existing commercial properties

Chinese developers are planning a $1 billion commercial project on this San Francisco Bay property. Photo: Greenland USA

By Eliot Brown – Aug. 30, 2016 11:02 a.m. ET

For eight years, a pair of local developers gradually readied a 42-acre strip of waterfront land 10 miles south of downtown San Francisco for a major project, steering it through local land-use approvals.

Now, a group of major Chinese developers is poised to do the heavy lifting. The venture of Greenland Holding Group, Ping An Trust and other investors paid $171 million last month for the site that juts into San Francisco Bay.

The new owners are planning a more than $1 billion development aimed at biotechnology companies, an industry flourishing in the area. “We are pretty confident about the local market and particularly about the research-and-development market,” said Taotao Song, chief executive of the venture.

Over the past three years, Chinese investors have plowed money into some of the highest-profile developments in the U.S. Other cities with projects underway or in the pipeline include New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.

graph of Chinese money flow

The flow of cash from China into U.S. commercial property is continuing unabated as companies seek to diversify outside of China at a time when confidence is fading in their local real-estate markets, real-estate executives say.

President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign has also compelled Chinese investors to seek projects abroad as a way to hedge against a possible crackdown to their business at home. Officials have blocked property sales and detained companies’ executives during investigations.

In the first half of 2016, completed U.S. commercial property purchases by China-based investors were up 19% over a year earlier to $5 billion, according to data tracker Real Capital Analytics Inc. Including deals under contract that haven’t been finished, Chinese investors have committed $12.9 billion this year, nearly matching the $14 billion in all of 2015. The rate of increase does appear to be slower this year, given that in 2014 there was just $3.4 billion in sales to Chinese investors, according to Real Capital.

Investments include office towers such as Manhattan’s 1285 Avenue of the Americas—in which China Life LFC -2.02 % Insurance Co. bought a partial stake—and Anbang Insurance Group Co.’s $6.5 billion deal to buy Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc., which hasn’t closed. Anbang also led an aborted $14 billion purchase of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. HOT -0.37 %

Still, there are some headwinds back home for Chinese investors as officials seek ways to stanch the flow of money out of China. For those real-estate investors that do get money out, developing new buildings is a main focus, given that it offers far higher returns but also more risk than buying existing buildings.

“The vast majority are looking for development opportunities,” said Stephen Collins, who oversees a global capital markets group at real-estate investment-services company JLL. The Chinese companies have experience with development at home, and believe they “can make more money buying the land, building it and selling it,” than just buying an existing tower, he said.

Projects controlled or partly owned by Chinese companies include a development to create Chicago’s third-tallest tower; a planned tower that would be San Francisco’s second-tallest building; a cluster of giant mixed-use projects in downtown Los Angeles; and a planned skyscraper in downtown Boston by Chinese developer  Gemdale Corp. 600383 3.62 %

Earlier this month, in one of the flashiest investments yet, China’s Shanghai Municipal Investment said it was joining with New York-based Extell Development Co. to build the $3 billion Central Park Tower. The condo skyscraper is set to rise 300 feet taller than the Empire State Building to become the tallest apartment tower in the U.S.

LA Dev

A rendering of Greenland Group’s $1 billion Metropolis development in Los Angeles. Photo: Greenland USA

For all of these projects, a big risk is timing. The U.S. is seven years into an economic growth cycle, making many wonder how much longer the good times can last. Much of this concern is focused on Manhattan’s luxury-condo market, where Chinese companies have funded a large crop of towers that are just being built, despite a slowdown in sales and widespread concerns about a condo glut.

The largest Chinese developer in the U.S. is Greenland Group, which has a $1 billion cluster of towers named Metropolis being built in Los Angeles. The company also owns 70% of a $6 billion apartment development in the New York borough of Brooklyn, where three towers have sprouted since it first invested in 2014. More are on the way.

Greenland executives predicted in mid-2014 that they would double their pipeline within a year and have considered numerous sites throughout the country. But the company ended up being less active than expected: its first U.S. deal since mid-2014 was the San Francisco Bay site it purchased for the biotech center.

The seller of that site was a venture of Shorenstein Properties and SKS Partners, which bought it in July 2008 for $85 million and won city approval for a 2.3 million-square-foot development.

Greenland and its partners plan to start moving ahead on a 500,000-square-foot first phase as soon as infrastructure work being done by the city of South San Francisco is completed in mid-2018. Greenland said the venture would begin construction whether or not any of the space is leased beforehand.

—Esther Fung contributed to this article.

Original Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/chinese-cash-pours-into-u-s-real-estate-1472569340

 

The Value of Competition

Rock Bottom Lake Racers (2)

What is the value of competition? Is it the acquisition of a prize, like Olympic gold or the praise of fans and friends? While completion may provide some incentive through the lure of winning something, it seems the real value is in the physical, mental and emotional strength developed in us as we discipline ourselves to push toward achieving a goal. Having someone to work with or compete against provides an extra push and gives us a measure of our level of engagement within a social setting.

Life is full of opportunities to compete, not only in sporting activities, but also in every activity throughout our day. Can we be aware enough of our actions to gauge if we are improving how we function? While it is fine, and even necessary to relax and enjoy the ride in resting intervals to regain our strength, finding the next level of our capacity can be greatly rewarding as we increase our strength, and even amplify the bond we have with others.

I was having these thoughts about competition yesterday morning while enjoying the ten minute rural commute to my office in Duvall. All of a sudden, I focused on a truck in front of me that I had just caught up with at the stoplight entering town. I was blown away by the message on the rear door and grabbed my phone to take a quick photo (below) while stopped behind it. This was just too weird, considering where my mind had been for the past ten minutes before seeing the truck (and I drive a Jeep by the way). I’m pretty sure it was a coincidence…but I had to consider other options. In any case, Bam, a life message right in my face.

Compete 2

Do you have a competition specialty? If not, perhaps today is a good time to get in a game…you’ll be stronger in many ways for making the effort, and you might have some fun and even make some friends. Come on, I dare you! Join me, because I’ve decided to find a game today. Let our games begin, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

Offsetting the Decline of Bee Colonies Around the World

As producers of a variety of garden edibles, the importance of timely bee pollination is obvious. Around the world, the implications of decreasing food supplies due to declining bee colonies is a critical problem facing the future of our planet.

The most common cause for the bee decline is the use of pesticides. From around 6 million bee colonies in 1945, it is estimated that only 3 million bee colonies remained just 10 years ago.

Dave

Today, we had the great fortune of meeting a man on the move, dedicated to working with like-minded people to create a solution to the loss of pollinating bee populations. Dave Hunter, the founder and owner of Crown Bees, is rapidly growing a business supplying a species of bee (the Mason Bee) to offset the decline in Honey Bees, which has served as the main food pollinators in the past. The Mason Bee actually has superior pollinating characteristics, and is a gentle and easy to breed species.

We have begun creating a central place for Dave’s Crown Bees in our garden sanctuary, and have gained immediate enthusiasm for the species.

We have at the same time gained a great level of respect for Dave and the mission of the Crown Bee group he is forming to make a significant impact for ethical change on our planet.

Take a look at the CrownBee.com website and learn more about Mason Bees and how you can help change the course of history for the better.

FoodShortange1
Honey Bee and a Mason Bee

Below is a quote from the CrownBee.com blog:

Science proved in the 1980’s that when mason bees were used in orchards, farmers increase the yield of their crop. Cherries can increase by 200-300 percent, almonds by less. Studies have been replicated in the US, Europe, and Asia for increased production of apples, pears, kiwi, peaches, and many other fruits and nuts which show amazing results.

These gentle mason bees exist in backyards and meadows worldwide. You might have them at your home, but until today, they have gone unnoticed. Gardeners are now using mason bees to gain more fruits and summer vegetables.

You can discover more about this astounding bee through reading the “learn” portion of Crown Bees website. You can raise this gentle bee yourself. Get started today.

Show Compassion

Benefaction

This painting, “Benefaction” is in acrylic on a 30″ x 48″ wood panel. Frank portrays the challenge of a foggy day for a typical ship in trying to find its way along a rocky and dangerous coast.

It was a very joyful moment to see the light on the shore, while receiving guidance from a friendly sea-bird bringing the ship to the light. This allowed the ship to turn just in time to miss the hidden rocks and certain catastrophe.

May we all show compassion and do what we can to aid others avoid possible disasters that can appear so quickly for any of us.